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It's one of those "pot calling the kettle black" situations with Bing claiming Google is being dishonest by having a paid inclusion shopping service. Bing has one too. The bigger issue to me is how the accusations again highlight how the US FTC is failing to do its consumer protection job.
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Jeff Orduno's profile photoRyan Kelly's profile photoAaron Bradley's profile photo
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How odd - I had just hobbled over to G+ to post a link on the subject and had planned to use the phrase "pot meet kettle."  Ya beat me to the punch, Danny!

When I encountered this I immediately thought of those years of Bing/Live/MSN trying to monetize product feeds in their search network with Cashback and other initiatives (and always, as you allude to in your article, with little transparency for either merchants or consumers).

"Our paid shopping results service is great - try it!  Wait, our shopping results services is now free - isn't Google evil for having a paid shopping results service!"  The hypocrisy is kind of staggering.

(It's also not clear to me whether there were/are barriers to entry for merchants not previously enrolled in Bing Cashback.  More on this in general below.)

Would Bing ever try to leverage Bing Shopping for revenue?  Of course not!

Bing Shopping - Getting Started - http://bit.ly/TurXgq
emphasis mine

Q. Does the new Bing Shopping program replace the Bing cashback Shopping program?
A. This Bing Shopping program is a new alternative to Bing cashback Shopping. We recommend you display your products on Bing Shopping and also run search ads on Bing.com as an important part of your online mix.

No thanks, Bing - but it's great you have a shopping program for free like Google's used to me.  How do I get in?  (This really takes makes my jaw drop in the current context.)  From the same page:

At this time, we are not accepting new merchants for this program. Please check back periodically for updates pertaining to on-boarding. In the meantime, new merchants may list their products through our partner Shopping.com, whose results appear on both Bing Shopping and the Shopping.com network.

#speechless  
 
Thanks for telling it to the people, +Danny Sullivan.  By the way, still clamoring here for a Chicago event by SearchEngineLand.com.  I'm not sayin'...I'm just sayin'...  We'd pay up in the Midwest!
 
Google Shopping is just another way for Google to appease big brands. After setting up product listing ads in Adwords for a local retailer, and optimizing it as much as possible, we got nothing. The listings were all big brands. Who are the agencies or shops that specialize in product listings/Google Shopping optimization? Even if I automate product feeds to sites like Price Grabber, I have no idea how to become visible on those vertical sites.
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